How to submit a high-quality proposal

5 key steps & 5 factors for a successful CELTIC-NEXT proposal

Audrey Bienvenu

CELTIC-NEXT is an industry-driven European research initiative to define, perform and finance through public and private funding common research projects. As the follow-on programme to the successful Eureka ICT cluster Celtic-Plus and its predecessor “Celtic-Initiative”, the cluster has been defined for 8 years until the end of 2026. CELTIC is supported by nearly all major European players in telecommunications. Bringing the major European telecommunications vendors and operators together into an ambitious European intergovernmental R&D programme, CELTIC is the best option to address a “system view” of communications to complement other existing Clusters.

CELTIC has been key for initiating ambitious and innovative projects dedicated to end-to-end communications solutions. Until today, CELTIC has labelled, funded and performed 176 projects in all their research areas with a total volume of more than one Billion Euro. By facilitating these collaborative R&D projects, CELTIC has made a great contribution to help Europe to stay at the competitive edge of the telecommunications industry.

Through 21 years of successfully running, the office has gathered the best tips and 5 key steps to submit a high-quality proposal and a rewarding project.

Step 1 – Use the brokerage tool

In order to support you in preparing your project proposal for CELTIC-NEXT Calls, we have created an online Brokerage Tool. Its goal is to help you build your Consortium in preparation for your CELTIC-NEXT Project. The tool functionalities are the following:

Submission form for your Project Ideas and Expertise Offers
Overview lists with search form
Contact request forms
Process owner support functions: approval process and contact request tracking

Step 2 – Attend to the call events

CELTIC-NEXT organises several events open to the public, which interested parties can attend to learn more about CELTIC-NEXT. We have typically one large CELTIC-NEXT Event per year, including an exhibition where running projects show their results. In addition, we are running several Launch Call Events and Proposers Days every year where interested parties can discuss their project ideas and potential project proposals with other interested experts and with representatives from the Public Authorities. Please watch out for upcoming CELTIC-NEXT Events.

Step 3 – Contact your public authorities

Projects can receive public funding, depending on the national funding rules. To speed up the funding decision process, each project participant should contact their national funding agency early in the process and follow their advice regarding national funding applications in parallel to the proposal submission. You may submit a short proposal abstract (including a short project outline, and intended consortium partners/countries) until one month before the deadline for a first check to the CELTIC Office.

Step 4 – Check your (funding) eligibility

Project proposals for CELTIC-NEXT Calls must meet specific criteria.The consortium should include at least two companies from different Eureka participating countries include at least one industrial partner from each of the countries and in a fair and well-balanced way. The project should generate an obvious advantage and added value resulting from the technological cooperation between the participants.

Step 5 – Submit your proposal in the CELTIC ­Proposal Submission Portal

First of all, you will need to create an account on the CELTIC Proposal Submission Portal Once your account is created, all steps and documents needed for upload will be explained.

5 factors for a successful project

Targeting the research areas: Least but not last: CELTIC-NEXT focuses on telecommunication and ICT, connecting people and businesses securely and reliably. The topics in the picture are not prescriptive and are only meant to give you some idea of the wide scope. Any topic related to the CELTIC-NEXT vision of a Smart Connected World is eligible.
Market relevance and exploitation potential: These are Key aspects to motivate Public Authorities to fund your project. The market analysis includes the technological value chain and added value of the collaboration, value chain as the right mix of partners in the consortium, added value of the cooperation at a technology level, added value by the cooperation at a business level, and consortium/partner access to the market.
Technology innovation: Innovation above the State of the Art (SoA) is a Key Criterion; 50 % of criticism of the Cluster experts during proposal evaluation are related to insufficient description of the SoA. Strategic relevance and expected impact of your proposal on a per-country perspective such as what new businesses will be generated matters.
Right mix of participating countries: A large majority of successful projects in the past have been funded and built by a minimum of three different countries. A total of 44 European and non-European countries worldwide are participating in CELTIC-NEXT, of which 27 are coming from Eureka countries.
Knowing the process of the proposal submission: The CELTIC label decision is given in 3 stages: Proposal Submission by proposers, evaluation phase by Industry Experts and Public Authorities and lastly, Label Decision by the Public Authorities and CELTIC Core Group.

Further information

CELTIC-NEXT website –